Our weekly bite explores the city's food trucks, one at a time, highlighting our favorite mobile dishes and snacks.
The Truck: Fins on the Hoof
The Cuisine: Cal-Med comfort food
Specialty Items: Lamb burger
Worth the Wait in Line? At peak lunch time, a total 16 minutes from the end of the line to food in hand.
Some trucks fall under the radar for different reasons. Some are sleepers with menus that may not read as well as the food is prepared, while others simply confound with names that are hard to remember. Such is the case with Fins on the Hoof, a food truck that we called something else almost every time it came up in conversation. Hoof and Fin. Fin Hook. Fish Hoof. But don't spend too much time worrying about the name and you'll find some damn fine cooking.
The poutine was what drew me to the truck, but I became too fixed on the oddness of the string cheese rounds that were supposed to be the "curds" to really love it. The gravy on the sausage version ($7) was chunky and generous with meat that just needed something else to elevate it to the levels reached by the Grass-Fed Lamb Burger ($10, salsa verde, feta, red onion, arugula, spicy mayo).
Chef Todd Middleton, a Maryland native who honed his skills in Florida at the Culinary Institute and worked his way through movie set catering and the Wolfgang Puck restaurants in Florida, has crafted a burger so fantastic it's stunning. The mild lamb patty gets perfectly seared, served juicy at medium-rare, with the condiments further enhancing the meat. The combination of salsa verde and feta with lamb is brilliant, adding an accent of "lambiness" with salty richness from the cheese that makes it taste simultaneously exotic, yet unmistakably keeping the burger form (some burgers diverge so far out, they become something different than a hamburger).
The burger takes time to make, so be patient. Middleton lets the patty get a sear so perfect, it crackles when you bite into it. The name of truck may be hard to remember, but the lamb burger is impossible to forget.